So tonight is the 2017 Hall of Fame ceremony. And, don’t get me wrong, it IS a pretty decent class, what with the Rock & Roll Express and DDP, both long overdue, and the returning Kurt Angle, finally where he belongs. Plus, the ultimate “Hell froze over” moment in having Jim Cornette be on hand to induct the Express. Overall, it looks like a reasonably decent class. With one huge, gaping, glaring, inexcusably offensive exception;
No offense to Beth (Copeland) Phoenix, but this year should have been Joanie’s year, full-stop, no ifs ands or buts.
If you’ll remember last year’s countdown, I made what most commenters universally agreed was a very valid point about the hypocrisy of claiming that Joanie “Chyna” Laurer’s porn career was the excuse for keeping her out of the Hall of Fame even though Charles “The Godfather” Wright was inducted last year despite playing a pimp on TV and LEGIT IN REAL LIFE owning a couple Vegas strip clubs. We pretty much all agreed that this misogynist double standard negated the official excuse for Chyna, and the real reason was a fear of her going off script with a live mic on live tv “ruining” the event.
A little over a month after I posted that article, Joanie died.
Like cockroaches feasting on a corpse, people in the WWE who shunned Joanie in life, who avoided her, ignored her, and kept her as far away from the WWE as possible, people like Tripsy and Steph, were suddenly all over social media with super duper sad and TOTES heartfelt condolences. Like hypocrites, suddenly Cyhna’s legacy was revered and pedestalized. Suddenly everyone was acting like they actually cared about her and loved her.
It felt opportunistic and fake, and I was FAR from the only fan to call them out for their skeevy insincerity. But as the Hall of Fame 2017 inductees began to be announced, Tripsy and Steph and the gang had a chance to show they meant it, that their heartfelt outpouring of grief last year was genuine. They had a chance to make things right, to do right by her in death after failing her in life. A chance to show she mattered. And they blew it.
Again, don’t get me wrong. I am in no way suggesting that Beth doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Because she damn sure most certainly does. But not THIS year. This year should have belonged to Chyna. This year should have been Joanie’s year. The WWE, by ignoring Joanie again in death like they did in life, have failed her, just like they failed her in life. And by extension they failed her family, her friends, and her fans, and proved how empty and utterly insincere their “heartfelt” condolences were.
Tags: A Penny For Your Thoughts Wrestlemania Countdown, Beth Phoenix, Chyna, Hall of Fame, Joanie Laurer, WrestleMania, WWE